Music review: Paramore maturing on new disc

Friday, October 2, 2009
In this CD cover image released by Fueled by Ramen, "Brand New Eyes," by Paramore, is shown. (AP Photo/Fueled by Ramen)

Grammy-nominated upstarts Paramore have been labeled everything from punk to emo since their breakout 2007 disc "Riot."

Labels seem to miss the point entirely with Paramore. They just make good music -- and their third effort, "brand new eyes," is another burst of youthful energy and infectious to the core.

Lead singer Haley Williams -- a mere 20 years old -- has a Gwen Stefani-like charisma and she carries the band by being everything Kelly Clarkson is trying to be and Stefani used to be. And she can sing, too.

Josh Farro (guitar/vocals), Zac Farro (drums), Jeremy Davis (bass) and Taylor York (guitar) play with reckless energy and set a great tone for Williams' sassy lyrics.

The disc opens on a nice 1-2 punch with "Careful," where Williams shouts "The truth never set me free/So I did it myself," and lead single "Ignorance," which is already climbing the charts.

Soaring tracks dominate here, including a crowd-ready "Brick By Boring Brick" and the unapologetic fist-pumpers "Feeling Sorry" and "Where The Lines Overlap."

But it's the lighter moments that showcase Paramore's emerging diversity. "Playing God" is a dose of pop-rock bliss, and the acoustic ballads "Exception" and "Misguided Ghosts" prove that Williams can do a lot more than simply wail.

Paramore is confidently maturing, and it shows on "brand new eyes."

-- AP

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